I realized that I had to write a blog post about Richard or Kahlan after finishing the book series for the third time (all 10,000 pages of it) since I discovered it a couple of years ago. I wanted to talk about just one of these two characters but after a few drafts quickly realized that you can’t really talk about one without the other. So, I decided that this post needed to cover both of them.
Richard Cypher is a normal, likeable young man who has never really experienced anything exciting in his life until a young woman in a gleaming white dress crosses his path. In that moment, everything in his life is changed and he begins a journey that will take him into lands of dragons and magic, never guessing that magic was always his destiny.
Kahlan Amnell is a Confessor, a woman feared by all and loved by no one. she is running for her life as the barriers that protected them all break down when she runs into a naive but courageous young man who is not afraid of her. She enlists his help to find the great wizard that no one can remember. A wizard who hid his name and identity from everyone and everything.
This is how you meet these two characters at the beginning of Wizard’s First Rule, the first book in a very lengthy series by Terry Goodkind. Spanning, currently, over a dozen books, this story brings new meaning to the idea of epic fantasy.
At the center of all this is our two main characters who, rather than getting lost in the chaos and grand scale rise to meet the colorful and in-depth story while maintaining a connection with the audience. As a reader, you hurt for these two as they try to navigate and overcome everything that is put in their way so that can be together, all while stopping the end of the world, ruthless dictators and discovering the past.
Kahlan’s compassion, logic, and sense of duty create a heart-felt character who strives for the greater good, even when it keeps her from happiness. She is one of the most powerful female characters I have read in the past few years. She is the kind of woman who rises to whatever is put in front of her. She is not perfect, but even when she makes a mistake, it is done from the best of intentions. Her powers complicate her life and shape her into someone who is more compassionate and caring instead of someone who could so easily become bitter with all the limitations placed upon her.
Richard’s passion, zeal, joy for life and goodness make him the consummate hero. He fights for the truth, long before he is made the Seeker of Truth. Of all the characters in the series, he has the most growth and change while still remaining true to himself. As he grows in power, prestige and learns how to navigate a world much more complicated than the one he had always known, the core of who is he still remains passionately committed to truth and doing what is right. Starting out a simple guide and ending up the most powerful man in their world, it is difficult to make that transition without losing your core values and yet Goodkind has managed to write a character that grows without losing a sense of who he really is.
This series was made into a short-lived TV series, The Seeker of Truth that only lasted two seasons. In my opinion, the reason the show didn’t take off as well as it could have was due to the fact that they strayed way too far from the original plot in the books. If they had done a book a season and remained faithful to the original story, I think we would still be enjoying seasons today. There is still a campaign called Save our Seeker, still valiantly attempting to bring the show back on the air.
Recently a friend of mine discovered this series of books, thanks to her husband who enjoys many of the same things I do (Doctor Who, Stargate, Harry Potterand Superman to name a few) told her about the show. When he suggested the name Kahlan for their little one and insisted that the name be spelled the same way, she decided to read through the books. After reading the first book in the series, she decided that having a daughter named after this character was a great idea. Just over a month ago, little Kahlan joined the world. For those of you that haven’t discovered this series yet, might I suggest that if people are willing to name their kids after these characters that they are definitely worth the time to discover.